Having the anniversary of Brennis' heart attack behind me has allowed me to let go of a lot of those intense emotions of the last few weeks. I didn't really mind having them....but they reminded me of a very stressful time and I didn't really need to go back there again. Once was enough.
I say it was a stressful time but I honestly don't remember feeling "stressed" per se while it was happening. I suppose I was.....and probably in such a constant state of being stressed that I didn't even notice it. I often say that I was living in an alternate state of consciousness during that time and I believe that to be mostly true. I think that the things I remember most vividly from that time are from moments when I let my guard down and tried to allow myself to relax. More often than not I was usually jerked back into that safe alternate state of consciousness so I could "forget" what was happening while it was happening.
A great example of that is the day of Brennis' surgery. I remember very little from those five hours.....just a few things from right before the surgery and the end. Everything else from that time period is gone from my memory. I think I let my brain take a vacation for a while. It gladly left.
Shortly after Brennis was taken to the operating room my family and I went to the waiting room. After about two minutes a nurse came out carrying Brennis' glasses and his bracelet. I must have watched too many hospital dramas on TV because as soon as I saw her coming out with those items my first thought was that they were going to tell me that Brennis had died. I used to be fond of saying "expect the worst...that way you won't be disappointed." Apparently I had taken my own advice. Thankfully, they were just giving them to me for safe keeping. Brennis was still alive despite being surrounded by my insanity for the past twenty years.
That was literally the last thing I remember until it was over. Honestly, there probably wasn't much to remember....just some middle aged people sitting in a waiting room talking about whatever might keep their mind off of what was happening. Who knows? I certainly don't recall a single thing from those hours. The first thing I remember after that is the nurse coming out to tell us that Brennis' heart was beating on its own. Those words were magical to me. They didn't sound like medical words. They sounded to me as though Brennis had been "away" and was now with us again. To me it just wasn't about the surgery.....it was about Brennis being able to live in a new life with everyone...able to live with all of the amazing lessons from this time we had all gone through; live with a heart that worked more efficiently which would enable him to enjoy life more. While I understood the medical significance of Brennis' heart beating on its own again I was so much happier that he would be alive in this new world with me. We both had wasted so much time and I wasn't ready for him to jump ship just yet.
I have always been fascinated by stories that people tell when they have "died" on the operating table.....about seeing the white light and people that they loved who had passed on. I am not sure I believe that that's really what happens but I believe that THEY believe it and really that's all that matters. I like the idea that they got to experience something so wonderful and then come back and tell us all about it. Brennis didn't have that kind of experience but I believe he can tell you what it was like to feel not alive and then to feel alive again. I think maybe we all can tell that story to different degrees if we really thought about it.
Dying, being close to death, having someone you love close to death....they remind us, of course, of our mortality. They remind us that our lives could be over soon and that we must make the most of our time here as we are able. That, however, is not big news. We've known this since we were old enough to know what death is.
What happened in the operating room that day was nothing short of a miracle. I cannot even wrap my brain around what the doctors, nurses and technicians had to do to Brennis to fix his heart. I do, however, know that it is possible.
Likewise, I believe, that it is possible for us to fix our own spirits when we feel like they are broken. Like our hearts, our spirits sometimes get clogged with junk and they don't work properly. Sometimes it is necessary to cleanse your spirit so that you can once again feel alive. There are, however, no emergency rooms for the soul. There are no x-rays or MRI's that will help you diagnose your broken spirit. Only you have the power to know that it needs repair and to go about the business of making it better. We are all born with the knowledge of how to do this but we often lack the courage or the will.
I know that there is nothing better than to feel the best that you can feel in your body, mind and spirit. It has been a long road for me and I am still traveling. I don't know where it will end or if it ever will and that does not matter. I am enjoying the journey and really that's more than enough to make my soul feel alive again.